Tuesday, October 13, 2015

State expected to study Columbia police department


Columbia Borough Council in late September approved a motion to seek state assistance with a comprehensive study of its police operations.

The borough's mayor, Leo Lutz, said Oct. 9 that the proposed study, which would be conducted by the state Department of Community & Economic Development, would, among other things, examine the feasibility of a consolidation or merger with other area police departments.

17 comments:

  1. You need a study to prove that operating as independent forces costs more than consolidation. Why does Cola still have dispatchers during the day. If after this study is done & it says anything other than consolidation is recommended, it was a farce.

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    1. I think that's a valid question, why do we have dispatchers? Why can't all calls go through the 911 system? Are the local calls recorded, as with 911calls? It does seem odd. I will call 911 if I ever need assistance, because I'm not sure what record would be on file if I went through the local police department dispatch.

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  2. Why not consolidate, West Hempfield is always here anyway.

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  3. there are reports and the numbers don't lie. The Boro has more than any calls in Lancaster County except the city itself. Most likely has to do with the thousands of transients that take the bus in Lancaster and move here and work the system. No one works, they fight, they hurt people, they may or may not partake in questionable activity.....the "system" is broke. So broke I don't believe it can EVER be fixed. Oh and "leadership" has a lot to do with every dept, every job, every occupation, every career. The majority of our police officers are excellent men and women who love what they do and try to make a difference. this Boro makes that an almost impossible task. I Thank each one of you who take your own life into your hands every day when you put on your uniform and report to your job. And that goes to every police officer and emergency responder.

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  4. It is proven that consolidation of police services minimally decreases costs (and in some instances, increases costs for particular municipalities), increases specialty services, and decreases routine patrol services. The only way to save money in a police consolidation is to reduce staff. Police Department budgets are top heavy in salary and benefits. In most departments, anywhere from 70 to 85% of the budget is tied up in personnel costs which include salary, benefits, and pension costs. Police departments have a low capitol overhead, such as vehicles and equipment when compared to other sectors of municipal government, such as fire departments or road departments. For example, a police car, fully equipped, would cost about $35,000. Compare that to a fully equipped fire engine, or large dump truck. I am not sure of the exact costs of these items but I feel safe in saying they run in the hundred thousands of dollars.
    While investigating the possible consolidation of the police department makes good business sense, I can never understand why this same though process is not used for public works. I can see significant cost savings through equipment alone. Instead of municipality A purchasing two large dump trucks and municipality B purchasing two large dump trunks, consolidated, they could probably get the job done with just three large dump trucks. That is only an example. I am sure there are many other areas where money could be saved by consolidating public works departments but for some reason, it is never thrown into the discussion.

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    1. One step at a time. The police budget in just a few short months will be 120% of the property taxes collected. That is insane and not affordable to the residents of this town.

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    2. All good points, but something has to be done. How long can Columbia hang on like this?

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    3. I would add this police budget is not affordable to the TAX paying residents of this town. We are upside down when it comes to tax revenue. In most municipalities, the earned income tax (the tax the comes off a working persons pay check) out earns the property tax revenue but not in Columbia.

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    4. It's not just the works departments or police departments. This whole state needs reorganized (and perhaps a new constitution?) and all these little fiefdoms (boroughs, townships, etc) need to be eliminated. We need county-level governments at the bare minimum.

      this isn't 1700 anymore.

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  5. Maybe if we combine a few of columbia rotten apples can do just that,,, rot.
    They soaked enough of our tax dollars,
    Now it's time they go,,
    Miller lite

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  6. Of course can anything help,,,
    Educate the children??
    Hoops and hoops residents jump thru,,,,
    Yet they may as well be on a merry go round.
    In the BORO it is pick and choose,
    What is the answer, ,,
    Move out,,
    Seems to be the trend,,
    Not the answer

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  7. Moving out is not an option, its a necessity, due to the high taxes. Residents tend to overlook the taxes while they are paying their mortgage, because it's all figured into the payment. Once they get older and the mortgage is paid, they start writing the checks to cover their taxes...then they realize just how crazy much it costs to live here. If residents demand results with regard to what they're paying taxes for, then people tell them to move out!! I'm not going any place AND I'll complain all I want as long as they are using MY money. I worked very hard for it.

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  8. Right, the powers that be use our tax dollars to fund their pet projects and, according to some, if we don't like it we are supposed to leave. Too many residents will not take the time to attend meetings. No excuses, lots of residents DO have the time. We the people must watch our elected officials. Take off your rose colored glasses and look at reality.

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  9. the entire system is broke. you can be an illegal immigrant in our great country of the USA and collect every benefit for free and take our hard earned dollars from us. welfare was created for emergencies for help when laid off or serious illness NOT as a way of life. the judicial system is also broke...anyone found guilty of certain crimes should be sentenced to chair...we pay billions of dollars per year to support these sick b----- who can NOT be rehabilitated. taxes in this country AND the education system are so broke....we pay more in taxes than any other country and are land locked and have close to A THOUSAND RENTAL PROPERTIES (by the was just what is the Boro Mgmt doing about this?? seems like 1 option only...create a tenant tax (so they each pay their share of US educating their children and create some program to sell rentals and turn them back into single family owned homes. the education our children receive is a joke compared to other countries. they spend 90% of their time preparing for PSSA tests. this is so wrong. i could go on...but i think you all get my point!

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  10. we truly need people o council who will put the majority of the taxpaying homeowning residents at the TOP of their Priority! why does everyone have thier "own" agendas? look at the $8 MILLION OR MORE FOR THE RIVER PARK. the boat ramp is STILL UNACCEPTABLE. i'll never understand WHY they use people who don't have a clue. if you can't back a boat down a ramp and put it in the river then maybe YOU shouldn't be designing it. and we see this over and over. its a BLATANT waste of money, and ignorance. let's not forget the $1 MILLION for cameras. wow. that's been proven a huge waste of money.

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